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Fuller Flavour: Stop treating us like fools, Paul - we’re not playing ‘unbelievable football’ at all

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:39 27 October 2020

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Photo: PA

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert. Photo: PA

PA Wire

In his latest Ipswich Town column, Karl Fuller laments the last two performances from the Blues, and wonders what can be changed to improve things against Gillingham tomorrow....

Two games since my last column and they were two games where the old ‘let’s see how we get on against two of the division’s better sides’ mantra came to the fore.

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If I have used the terms ‘Groundhog Day’ or ‘déjà vu’ too much over the last few years, then I make no apology. This past week really been a classic example of either phrase. Rewind back to October 20, 2019 for a moment. We had reached that stage of last season unbeaten before putting in a really poor display away at Accrington Stanley as we went on to lose 2-0.

A few days later, we lost our second league game of the season when going down at home to Rotherham United by the same scoreline.

The Ipswich management team are not happy with the officials at Lincoln City. Picture PagepixThe Ipswich management team are not happy with the officials at Lincoln City. Picture Pagepix

For the third year in a row, we lost on October 20 again this year which as we know was our first league defeat of the season before following up with yet another defeat.

But don’t worry just yet folks, after that defeat to Rotherham, we did win our next game (3-1 at Southend). So we could get back on track against Gillingham.

October 20 is definitely not a kind date for us. The last 7 times we’ve played on this date, stretching back some 22 years, we’ve lost five and drawn two.

It seems like a step forward to take two back for us Ipswich fans. Only last week, I was saying how I felt that we have been winning games ‘better’ at the start of this season compared to the wins at the start of last season.

But we just can’t beat the stronger sides in this division. That said, the extent to which we beat ourselves rather than Doncaster beating us is rather a concern.

When we recently beat Blackpool 4-1, all four of our goals were excellent. Blackpool could not argue with any of them. Yet it could be said that we contributed to all four goals on Tuesday night.

Our defence, which has been resolute for so long recently, looked like they’d never played together.

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Oli Hawkins pulls the ball across the penalty area at Lincoln City with this effort. Picture PagepixOli Hawkins pulls the ball across the penalty area at Lincoln City with this effort. Picture Pagepix

I felt that Paul Lambert was going to do the right thing for his line-up against Lincoln in giving as many players as possible a chance to redeem themselves. I was surprised then that there were as many as four changes but couldn’t really argue with any of them.

I’m wondering now, after Lambert stated that a repeat performance by any player would see them sitting alongside him, if we can now expect any number of changes for our next game tomorrow.

Well, possibly not. Mostly because Lambert will probably not be on the touchline following his red card after Saturday’s game, but would it be right to make another four or five changes and see him revert back to last season’s rotation that we all moaned about?

I could think of at least a couple of players that should not be in the next line-up but I really don’t know anymore what difference any changes would make.

Referee Kevin Johnson talking to Gwion Edwards at Lincoln City. Picture: PAGEPIX LTDReferee Kevin Johnson talking to Gwion Edwards at Lincoln City. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Lambert openly said after Saturday’s game that he can’t ask any more of his players. That single comment should really send shivers through the spine of the club. He thinks we’re playing really well and have been excellent in each of the last two games.

He even said that we are playing ‘unbelievable football’. I hate to tell you this Paul, but thousands of fans have watched those two games and it would be very difficult to find many who will agree with you. Stop treating us like fools.

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If he can’t ask any more of his players, then that tells me that he has taken this squad as far as he can. The only thing that surprises me is that – after defeat at Lincoln last season saw him rewarded with a five-year contract extension – he’s not been offered a ten-year deal after another defeat at Sincil Bank!

Stephen Ward was back in the side at Lincoln City. Picture PAGEPIX LTDStephen Ward was back in the side at Lincoln City. Picture PAGEPIX LTD

As for his rant about the officials after the game and how he had never seen anything like it, can I respectfully remind him of the officiating that we endured in the home game against Wycombe last season? That was far worse, in my humble opinion.


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